The last two home video rental shops in the northwest U.S. state of Alaska said Thursday that they will close their business Monday, marking the final demise of an era in the last strongholds of home video rental business of the country.
Blockbuster Alaska, the northwest operator of U.S. home movie and video game rental services through brick-and-mortar rental shops, announced the closure that would leave Blockbuster with only one store still in operation across the United States.
"We regret to inform our customers that Blockbuster Video will be closing both the College and Debarr stores starting July 16th," Kelli Vey, district manager, and Kevin Daymude, general manager at Blockbuster, wrote in a Facebook post.
They said the two stores will reopen Tuesday for an inventory sale though July and August before completely ending their 28 years of Blockbuster-brand service in the state.
Blockbuster has long struggled to survive in Alaska as its retail business of home video rental was constantly hurt and dwindled in the past years due to the aggressive expansion of Internet streaming services and the rapid growth of smartphones and social media that have largely changed the way of people's life.
"We can't string this out any longer without creating some financial problems," Alan Payne, who owns the Alaska stores, told the local Anchorage Daily News.
Blockbuster became internationally known throughout the 1990s and peaked in 2004 when it employed 84,300 people worldwide, including about 58,500 in about 4,500 stores across the United States.
The home video rental retailer began to lose significant revenues during the 2000s, and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010.